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Weapons, explosives found in Riverside home; 1 arrested

January 31, 2013 |  6:48 am

A man was in jail Thursday after police and federal agents discovered a cache of explosives and weapons inside a Riverside home.

Among the weapons were two cannons. William Lawrence Hunziker, 46, was arrested Wednesday, and authorities said they planned to continue searching the Oakhurst Place home Thursday.

“I was afraid of him. He never would speak to me, because he knew that I didn’t like him,” neighbor Donna Johnson told KTLA-TV.

Johnson said she often heard what sounded like gunshots in the middle of the night coming from Hunziker’s home. But Tuesday afternoon, she saw something that she says made her call police.

“He was outside working in the yard, and all of the sudden we heard this bang, and I looked and I said, ‘He’s got a gun,’” she recalled. “It was a rifle.”

Authorities went to the home, where they say they found Hunziker’s 82-year-old mother emaciated. They say they also found guns, a silencer and explosive materials. They believe he may have potentially been making bombs.

As the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Riverside police searched through the clutter, investigators say they also found booby traps.

“It would be like a trip wire that if you kicked the wire it would knock something over that would cause him to know that somebody was near his house,” said Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint.

Still, some in the community believed that their neighbor and friend is being unfairly targeted because of a messy home.

“He’s actually a very nice guy, but he’s very eccentric and he likes to make fireworks,” neighbor Angel Vedaa said. “He’s very, you know, ‘I’m gonna have my guns and the government can’t take them.’ But, I mean, we have busybodies here, and he just kind of keeps to himself.”

Authorities said the investigation at the home was suspended Wednesday due to darkness. The search will continue at the home on Thursday.


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-- From a Times staff writer